Hennepin Healthcare’s Kidney Transplant Program Celebrates 60th Anniversary


In February of 1963, Hennepin Healthcare’s Kidney Transplant Program performed the first kidney transplant in the upper Midwest. Since then, thousands of patients with kidney disease have found new life with thanks to receiving a kidney transplant.

On Saturday, February 11, patients, their families, donors, Transplant Program team members and friends will come together to celebrate this history of innovative, lifesaving and life-changing care.

“We have the privilege of witnessing remarkable transformations almost every day,” explains Dr. John Silkenson, Medical Director of Hennepin Healthcare’s Kidney Transplant Program. “We care for patients who are pre-transplant and post-transplant. Receiving a healthy kidney after months – maybe years – of dialysis is a game-changer. We celebrate these successes with our patients and their families, and now we’re marking 60 years of innovative leadership this program has made for transplant care and research. Until kidney disease can be eradicated, we will continue to provide the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for our patients.”

Who:               Hennepin Healthcare’s Kidney Transplant Program
What:             60th Anniversary of First Kidney Transplant in the Upper Midwest
When:             Saturday, February 11 from 10 a.m. to Noon
Where:           Stillman Education and Community Room, Hennepin Healthcare’s Clinic & Specialty Center, 715 S. 8th St. Mpls., MN 55404 (program at 10:30 a.m.)

Free parking will be available in the ramp beneath the Clinic & Specialty Center for those attending the event.

Hennepin Healthcare is a nationally recognized system of care that includes HCMC, a Level I Trauma Center and public teaching hospital. The centerpiece of Hennepin County’s clinical health services, Hennepin Healthcare offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient services, including its Transplant Program, which is celebrating 60 years of providing kidney transplant services to patients and their families.

Hennepin Healthcare asking for community input on local trauma research study for blood clotting agent

Excessive bleeding (bleeding out) is the most common cause of preventable death after someone experiences an injury. Researchers at Hennepin Healthcare are asking for the community’s input on whether they should participate in an international study to see if a blood clotting drug – given soon after arrival in the emergency department – can improve survival.

Kcentra® (or 4-factor Prothrombin Complex Concentrate) is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug and is currently used to reverse the effects of medications given to “thin” the blood, for patients who experience bleeding and/or require surgery.

The Trauma and Prothrombin Complex Concentrate or TAP Trial will evaluate the effectiveness of Kcentra®, in addition to all standard care, in injured patients predicted to require a large volume blood transfusion. “There is evidence that Kcentra® may reduce the chance of dying in injured patients who are not on blood-thinning medications,” explains Dr. Brian Driver, MD an emergency physician at Hennepin Healthcare.

“The standard treatment of injured patients who are bleeding involves the transfusion of different types of blood products, as well as the use of medications to help the blood clot better, along with surgery to stop the bleeding. But even with these treatments up to 30% of patients suffering from a serious traumatic injury die,” said Dr. Driver. “Finding a way to improve that survival rate is our highest priority here at Hennepin Healthcare.”

Patients in this study will have suffered a serious and potentially life-threatening injury that caused significant blood loss and required immediate lifesaving interventions. These types of injuries occur unexpectedly, and it will not be possible for most people to sign up to participate ahead of time. Most patients will be unconscious, unable to speak or hear, and too sick to consent to immediate treatment or participation in the study.

If the community feedback is positive and an independent review board (IRB) approves the study at Hennepin Healthcare, then Hennepin Healthcare will participate in this trial. Community members who do not want to participate can request a bracelet indicating this. If feasible, doctors will consent patients who fit the study criteria. If consent is not feasible, patients who fit the criteria will be automatically enrolled without their individual consent if they are not wearing an opt-out bracelet.

The TAP trial will be conducted in about 120 leading trauma centers in several countries and will include 8,000 patients, making it the second-largest trauma trial ever conducted. The trial will begin between early 2023 and last until 2026, and is funded by CSL Behring, a global biotherapeutics leader which makes PCC.

“The results of this study have the potential to change the way trauma patients are treated,” said Dr. Driver. “If we can determine that Kcentra® is safe and effective for trauma patients, we can transform the standard of care for bleeding trauma patients and save thousands of lives.”

The researchers are asking for feedback from the Twin Cities community about this study to help determine whether the community wants us to participate in this study. Please consider joining a virtual meeting on January 25 or February 7, where further details will be discussed (details at: https://www.uab.edu/medicine/cis/tap-trial-at-hennepin/community-meetings).

Also, please consider completing a very brief anonymous survey hosted by the local study site. To complete the anonymous survey on your thoughts about this exception from informed consent study, please go to: https://uab.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Lln3tsViYM0ZnM

For more information, please contact Dr. Brian Driver MD at 612-873-7448 or email at brian.driver@hcmed.org

Hennepin Healthcare is a nationally recognized system of care that includes HCMC, a Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 484-bed acute care hospital as well as primary care and specialty clinics located in downtown Minneapolis its surrounding communities.